Yes the bank must foreclose because even though the bankruptcy wiped out your personal liability for the mortgage, it did not remove your name from the deed. Bankruptcy has to do with the loan, and foreclosure has to do with the deed. You are still on the deed. The process for you is simple - just stop paying the mortgage and the bank will start foreclosure proceedings. You can move out whenever you want, anytime between today and the time of the foreclosure. You will not be responsible for any mortgage payments, costs or fees, however, as Mr. Webster mentioned out you are responsible for any HOA dues from the date you filed your bankruptcy until the foreclosure date.
You have the opportunity for free rent - what is pulling you away?
I would stay in the home as long as possible and save money until foreclosure.
Bankruptcy does not change property ownership.
If your home has HOA, you will be responsible for them going forward.
Please contact me directly with document for a free 30 minute consultation to get more concrete advice. This is not legal advice. I don't have enough information to give actual legal advice. I can only take the limited information presented and provide a framework to know how your situation may turn out. I may have questions that bring up issues you did not think were important but make a big difference.
I'll take that last unanswered portion of your question. Yes, foreclosure will affect your future ability to obtain a mortgage. However, I don't know that it will affect it any more than have the present bannkruptcy on your credit report. You're going to have to wait several years to be able to qualify for a new mortgage, and the type (FNMA, FHLMC, FHA, VA, etc) will depend on the guidelines for each particular program. Check with your mortgage lender to find out.
BEFORE you move out, check with your HOA and see if there are dues owed, as a new judgment for those could further impact your ability to obtain further credit. If you owe them money get it squared away!
The bank is not required to exercise its rights as a secured creditor by foreclosing. There can be a number of reasons the banks delay or even choose not to foreclose. They may already have a ton of foreclosed homes in the area, and don't want to add to their portfolio of REO properties. If they know there is something seriously wrong with the property (like toxic chemicals found in the soil) they may not want the cost associated with cleanup. You are entitled to live in the house without making payments until such time as the bank forecloses and becomes the owner under your state's foreclosure laws. If you received a discharge you are no longer liable for the debt. The mortgage is the only way the lender will be able to get any of the money you owed - and to do that they have to foreclose. As long as you are the title owner of the property, you want to keep it insured (in case someone comes on the premises and gets hurt, you are covered). If you are intent on moving, and the bank delays foreclosure, this can pose an expense for you, keeping the property maintained and insured. Because if the grass gets too long, the city will come mow it or issue a nuisance citation, and guess what? They issue it to the owner, and that could be you. I would advise that you ride out living at the home rent-free as long as possible, which will allow you to set aside money each month to make the eventual transition to a new residence.